Author Archive for Numerator_Original

Max Tundra / Girl Talk (live at the House of Blues Orlando, May 21, 2011)

A little late on this one, but still fresh in my mind. I was lucky enough to catch Girl Talk (Greg Gillis) when they passed through Orlando. A really fun show all around, made better by the group of friends I was with.

The opening act was Max Tundra an electronic/8-bit-ish musician I had never heard of prior to the show. Kind of hard to describe – imagine a guy flailing about the stage while singing (falsetto) Beyonce’s Single Ladies and closing with a song from The Sound of Music. A lot of the crowd was not feeling him, but I thought it was pretty fun opening act (better than a lot of opening acts I have seen lately) and showed another side of the sampling community. Highlight was his cover of KLF’s “What Time is Love?”.

Girl Talk was about what you would expect if you have listened to any of their music. Pretty much 1.5 hours (including encore) of dancing and all around partying filled with confetti and balloon drops. The crowd had a lot of energy and, as a whole, was there to just have a good time. Several people were brought onto the stage and danced in front of a massive screen synced to the music. Samples spanned pretty much his entire work with a lot of new mixes intermingled in and a lot of the weaker (less-danceable) mixes from his albums left out. Everything about the production was well done.

Honestly, my only complaint for the show was the venue. This was the first time I had been to HOB for anything other than food and the pit felt too small for this kind of show. A lot of people ended up stuck up against railings and stairs which looked pretty uncomfortable. Acoustics and lighting were good though.

I did not think about recording this (for the simple fact I was in the pit), but I have tossed in a clip of the show and a couple of his tracks to this post. It should be noted that this tour may be the last in this style for Girl Talk. In interviews, Gillis has stated he would like to move away from the continuous mash style and focus more on individual tracks. This seems consistent with his overall musical evolution which started with a very glitchy sound (see Unstopable) and now employs significantly longer samples (All Day).

Girl Talk – Oh No
Girl Talk – Bounce That

You can grab Girl Talk’s latest album for free here.

- Numerator_Original

ohGr – Undeveloped

ohGr Undeveloped Cover

And now for something different…

I never really listened to industrial as a kid (I was raised on 60’s/70’s psychedelic and southern rock), but I quickly became hooked in the mid-2000s. I remember being introduced to NIN by a good friend in college and deciding soon after to buy my first Skinny Puppy album (the Singles Collect of all things). My interest quickly spread to the band’s other side projects (Download, Doubting Thomas, etc.). Of these side projects, I probably listened to ohGr the most. Whereas Skinny Puppy is characterized for their harsh and often disjointed sound, ohGr favored a more melodic and polished industrial style interspersed with hints of IDM and trance. I imagine many of SP’s die hard fans are probably disappointed with ohGr, but I greatly enjoyed the band’s attempt to find a sound independent of their earlier work.

I was actually pretty surprised by Undeveloped, especially after the release of Devil in my Details. Following Welt and SunnyPsyOp, DimD introduced a markedly darker sound for ohGr that placed less emphasis on musical hooks and melodic vocals (one of the things I enjoyed about the band). While not a terrible album, I felt it was hurt by poor mixing (the whole recording sounds muddied) and, subsequently lacked the emotion of the two previous albums. The Bill Moseley samples also felt out of place.

Thankfully, ohGr continued to develop their sound with Undeveloped and addressed many of my concerns with DimD. The darker sound remains; however, the crisp mixing and polished sound from the first two albums has returned. Spoken word sampling is still present, but flows better within the album (although sampling the Michael Jackson 911 tape may be a little questionable).

Like ohGr’s other albums, a wide range of styles have been covered here. Genres range from industrial, electronica, experimental (“typer”), aggro, and trance. Many tracks on the album are club friendly, with slick beats and clear lyrical hooks. Track highlights include “101” (many reviewers have noted the similarity to how this track opens to SP’s “Assimilate,” but the track quickly shifts to a menacing dance beat complete with a female backed refrain [a first I think]), “pissage” (the heaviest track on the album), “comedown” (provides a calm bookend to “pissage,” but gradually climaxes into fast-paced electronica), and traGek (probably the most mainstream sounding track of the album). Overall, it is a very accessible album that does well not to alienate ohGr’s core industrial fans without resorting to retreading past work.

If you enjoy industrial music, or if you are interested in broadening your musical horizons, I highly recommend this album. It is definitely one of my favorites for this year.

ohGr – 101
ohGr – traGek

- Numerator_Original